Hell on Earth (Mobb Deep album)

Hell on Earth is the third studio album by the American hip hop duo Mobb Deep, released on November 19, 1996, through Loud and RCA Records. A sequel to Mobb Deep's previous album, the critically acclaimed The Infamous (1995), Hell on Earth is entirely produced by group member Havoc and features guest appearances from rappers Nas, Raekwon, Method Man, and frequent collaborator Big Noyd, among others. The album includes the acclaimed singles "G.O.D. Pt. III" and "Front Lines (Hell on Earth)," as well as "Drop a Gem on 'Em," a response to 2Pac's diss track "Hit 'Em Up." A promotional single, "Still Shinin'", was released earlier that year and later added to the album.

Hell on Earth
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 19, 1996
  • Platinum Island Recording Studios (New York City)
  • Axis Recording Studios (New York City)
Length61:35 (North America)
65:47 (international)
ProducerMobb Deep
Mobb Deep chronology
The Infamous
Hell on Earth
Murda Muzik
Singles from Hell On Earth
  1. "Still Shinin'"
    Released: 1996
  2. "Drop a Gem on 'Em"
    Released: August 25, 1996
  3. "Front Lines (Hell on Earth)"
    Released: October 4, 1996
  4. "G.O.D. Pt. III"
    Released: April 15, 1997

The album, one of the earliest enhanced CDs, also contains an additional track ("In the Long Run") that at the time, had to be unlocked with the use of a computer. The album garnered widespread acclaim from critics, and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on April 9, 1997.



Since most of the album was recorded during the height of the East Coast-West Coast rivalry, many fans considered the darker songs to be subtle disses toward 2Pac and other West Coast emcees, but Prodigy sends shout-outs to a list of West Coast artists such as Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, and Xzibit in the liner notes.



Building on the sound of The Infamous, Havoc experimented with an eerie, atmospheric style of production, sampling pianos, string sections, and film scores.[1] Like Mobb Deep's two previous albums, the lyrics explore themes of crime and violence, with more of a focus on retribution and payback.[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [1]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[3]
Los Angeles Times    [4]
Muzik     [5]
Q     [6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [8]
The Source     [9]

Hell on Earth was met with widespread acclaim from music critics. Selwyn Seyfu Hinds of The Source praised Prodigy for "painting an endless series of chilling, near-surreal cinemascapes", also stating that Havoc "comes through with a surprisingly high octane performance". He concluded that Mobb Deep were "the most intense, most authentic, most powerful practitioners" of East Coast hardcore hip hop during the 1990s.[9] Los Angeles Times writer Cheo Hodari Coker called it "just as alluring, pessimistic and downright scary" as The Infamous, adding that "with Scorsese-like finesse, Mobb Deep serves up its underworld with such verve that even the most brutal characters glow with respectful purpose".[4] Sacha Jenkins of Spin believed that the album "pursues retribution like Charles Bronson in the Death Wish flicks", also noting that "very occasionally, you'll hear a longing for sanctuary inside Mobb Deep's insanity".[2] Entertainment Weekly's Matt Diehl described it as a "haunting portrait of New York-style thug life" and a "thumping mix where gunshots clash with eerie strings".[3]

In a retrospective piece, AllMusic critic Steve Huey felt that the album "refines the Mobb Deep formula, amplifying much of what made The Infamous a success. The bleak street narratives are even more violent and extreme, and the production is even grittier and creepier".[1] In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, Chris Ryan commended Mobb Deep's artistic progression, stating, "If Infamous was a chilling documentary, Hell on Earth is a crime saga of mythical proportions. The stickup kids of the last album become hitmen and corner drug pushers become crime kingpins".[8] The album was included in Q's 50 Heaviest Albums of All Time.[10]

Track listing

1."Animal Instinct" (featuring Twin Gambino & Ty Nitty)3:30
2."Drop a Gem on 'Em"4:17
4."Extortion" (featuring Johnny Blaze)3:31
5."More Trife Life"3:45
6."Man Down" (featuring Big Noyd)5:03
7."Can't Get Enough of It" (featuring General G)4:51
8."Nighttime Vultures" (featuring Lex Diamonds)4:30
9."G.O.D. Pt. III"5:17
10."Get Dealt With"3:56
11."Hell on Earth (Front Lines)"4:34
12."Give It Up Fast" (featuring Big Noyd & Nas)3:58
13."Still Shinin'"4:11
14."Apostle's Warning"4:07
Bonus track
15."In the Long Run" (featuring Ty Nitty & Money No)2:38
International Version
1."Animal Instinct" (featuring Twin Gambino, Ty Nitty)3:30
2."Drop a Gem on 'Em"4:17
4."Extortion" (featuring Johnny Blaze a.k.a. Method Man)3:31
5."More Trife Life"3:45
6."Man Down" (featuring Big Noyd & Money No)5:03
7."Can't Get Enough of It" (featuring General G a.k.a. Illa Ghee)4:51
8."Nighttime Vultures" (featuring Lex Diamonds a.k.a. Raekwon)4:30
9."G.O.D. Pt. III"5:17
10."Get Dealt With"3:56
11."Shook Ones Pt. I"4:12
12."Hell on Earth (Front Lines)"4:34
13."Give It Up Fast" (featuring Big Noyd & Nas)3:58
14."Still Shinin'"4:11
15."Apostle's Warning"4:07



Weekly charts

Chart (1996) Peak
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[11] 52
UK Albums (OCC)[12] 67
US Billboard 200[13] 6
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[14] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1997) Position
US Billboard 200[15] 148
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[16] 35


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Silver 60,000
United States (RIAA)[18] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also



  1. ^ a b c Huey, Steve. "Mobb Deep – Hell on Earth". AllMusic. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Jenkins, Sacha (January 1997). "Mobb Deep: Hell on Earth". Spin. SPIN Media LLC. p. 88 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b Diehl, Matt (November 22, 1996). "Music Review: 'Hell on Earth'". Entertainment Weekly. p. 138.
  4. ^ a b Coker, Cheo Hodari (February 2, 1997). "Mobb Deep: Hell on Earth". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Ashon, Will (December 1996). "Mobb Deep: Hell On Earth" (PDF). Muzik. No. 19. p. 134. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2022. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  6. ^ "Mobb Deep: Hell on Earth". Q. No. 165. June 2000. p. 126.
  7. ^ "Mobb Deep :: Hell on Earth :: Loud/RCA". www.rapreviews.com.
  8. ^ a b Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780743201698 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ a b Hinds, Selwyn Seyfu (December 1996). "Mobb Deep: Hell on Earth". The Source. No. 87. p. 123.
  10. ^ "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time". Q (178). July 2001.
  11. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Mobb Deep – Hell on Earth". Hung Medien.
  12. ^ "Mobb Deep | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  13. ^ "Mobb Deep Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Mobb Deep Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard.
  15. ^ "1997 Year-End Charts – Billboard 200 Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
  16. ^ "1997 Year-End Charts – Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
  17. ^ "British album certifications – Mobb Deep – Hell On Earth". British Phonographic Industry.
  18. ^ "American album certifications – Mobb Deep – Hell on Earth". Recording Industry Association of America.